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Poster: HappySwordsman Date: Jul 3, 2012 3:36am
Forum: classic_tv Subject: Survival status of DuMont anthology series, with a comparison to surviving amount of ABC anthology series

DuMont aired quite a few anthology series. These are generally not-well-regarded, however sometimes they featured an actor who later became famous. Few kinescopes of them survive today:

Surviving examples:

Dark of Night - 1 episode (This series was special because it was shot from a different location each week, instead of being done on a soundstage. This particular episode was done at a paint factory...however, the episode is missing some footage)

Gruen Playhouse - 2 episodes (plus an ABC-aired episode) (plot descriptons from website: "Western drama in which a boy and his grandfather face a gang of outlaws" and "Story of an Irish-American family set during the flu epidemic of 1919")

Pulse of the City - 3 episodes (medical-themed anthology. Plots for the three surviving episodes: "Public health officials rush to ward off an outbreak of diphtheria that threatens to become an epidemic", "When a crewmember of a fishing boat falls ill, public health officers race to avert an outbreak of cholera", "Mild-mannered man decides to donate one of his eyes so that a little girl will be able to see")

Studio 57 - ?? (this was a filmed anthology series. It seems likely that more episodes survive than the 5 listed at the UCLA film and Television archive, some of which are post-DuMont episodes. At least one modern-day reviewer panned this series...but hey, isn't that just one man's opinion?)

Once Upon a Tune - 3 episodes (a musical anthology series. Yes, you read correctly! The episodes often spoofed broadway shows or fairy tales. Episodes that survive are: "Three Little Pigs", "Rapunzel", and an additional episode on a 57-minute kinescope reel that likely also contains an episode something else. What, I don't know, but Wiki claims it is an episode/unsold pilot for "Mr Dynamite")

Joseph Schildkraut Presents - 1 episode (plot: "In the middle of a hot night in New York City, a woman relates her upsetting nightmare to her husband: a dream in which her husband is about to kill her"). Also surviving are six episodes of a related ABC series called "Personal Appearance Theatre".

The Bigelow Theatre - 1 episode (final episode)

I don't know if the following is an anthology series. Almost no info exists on it, excerpt that one book stated it consisted of films and "productions" produced outside of the US:
International Playhouse - 7 episodes ("A Night to Remember", "A Simple Case of Murder", "Darkest Hour", "Desperate Encounter", "Million Dollar Mystery", "The Last Letter", "The Promise"), plus incomplete copies of 4 other episodes.

Other DuMont anthology series (for which no episodes are confirmed to survive) included: "Cosmopolitan Theatre", "Drama at Eight", "DuMont Royal Theater", "Hands of Murder", "Love Story", "DuMont Mystery Theater", and "Program Playhouse".

"One Man's Experience" and "One Woman's Experience"

ABC anthology series survive somewhat better. This list is not complete AT ALL, but should give you an idea of how much survives of ABC anthology series from the 1949-1954 period compared to DuMont. (this list is from the UCLA holdings...I believe ABC donated their old kinescopes to them in the 1970s or something) We all know about how "Tales of Tomorrow" survives, but here are some less-known survivors:

Actors' Studio (episode "Joe McSween’s atomic machine" from 1949)

Arch Oboler's Comedy Theatre (5 episodes from 1949, which are "A Dog's Eye View", "Love, Love, Love", "Mr. Dydee", "Ostrich in Bed", plus an unidentified episode from 14 October 1949)

Volume One (1 episode, from 21 July 1949)

Your Witness (1 episode from 1949 called "Murder on the Menu", plus the following episodes from 1950: "Death By Demand", "Murder By Magic", "Murder for Money", "Murder from the Moon", "Murder Makes Murder", "Case of the Dead Woman's Soul"".....this series was a courtroom anthology)

Billy Rose's Playbill (4 episodes from 1950, which are "Bright Golden Girl", "The Benefit of the Doubt", "Murder Club", "Yogi Your Way", plus the following 1951 episodes: "Farewell Appearance", "Flowers for Millie", "Julie the Jinx", "My Aunt Frieda's Love Affair", "The Old Magician")

Hollywood Theatre Time (1 episode from unknown date called "Father's Harem", plus 1950 episodes "Intrigue", "The Florence Bates Show" and "The Sterling Holloway Show", and 1951 episodes "Policewoman U.S.A.", "Street Floor Swing Shop", "Broken Promise")

Newssstand Theatre (1 episode from 16 January 1952)

ABC Album (1 episode "Justice")

Cavalcade of America (1953 episodes "Major Pauline", "Sam and the Whale", "Riders of the Pony Express", "Stolen General", "Tiger's Tail", plus episodes from later years)

Motorola TV Theatre (1953/1954 episodes "13 Clocks", "Atomic Attack", "Brandenburg Gate", and "Outlaw’s Reckoning")

Plymouth Playhouse (3 episode, "Tale of Two Cities Part 1", "Tale of Two Cities Part 2", "Jamie"....many of the episodes were intended to be pilots for new series)

U.S. Steel Hour (1954 episodes "Goodbye, but it doesn't go away", "King's Pawn", "One for the Road", "Presento", "Fifth Wheel", 1953 episode "P.O.W.", plus more episodes from later years)


This list was compiled from the contents of just one TV archive....I haven't checked other archives yet, such as Paley Center for Media, Museum of Broadcast Communications, Library of Congress, etc etc.

Plus, ABC aired other anthology series during this time. For example, at least two episodes of "Celanese Theater" survive at the Paley Center for Media.